Associazione NATs

Bologna NATs Association

"In poor areas children who work die of hard work,
children who don't work die of hunger."
(Boutros Ghali)

The first organised movement of working boys, girls and adolescents started in Lima in 1976. In almost 30 years, the experience in Peru spread throughout other countries in Central and Southern America, Africa and Asia, involving tens of thousands of young workers in countries of the Southern hemisphere. It acquired different features according to the different contexts in which it developed but preserved the same basic principles and objectives.

The NATs movement unites children and adolescents who work out of economic needs, in order to help their families, to pay for school fees and also for cultural reasons.

The projects carried out inside the movement are often the only available alternative to the damage and risks engendered by the work-related exploitation.

Through labs, canteens, schools, group meetings, education and recreation, the children of the movement can improve their living conditions and, thanks to experiences of self-managed micro-firms, they can also create dignified job opportunities appropriate to childhood and adolescence.

Beyond the improvement of the working youth's everyday life, the NATs movements fight to participate in meetings where child policy and child labour are discussed and decided upon. They also fight to obtain control over child labour which should be based on the characteristics of the conditions of the countries where the children live, respecting at the same time the right to education, to health and leisure as dictated by the International Convention on the Rights of Children in 1989

The experience of the NATs gives birth to and was born of an idea of childhood different to the overprotective philosophy of today's Western countries, and it defends a concept of work which, when in dignity, can represent an opportunity of not only economic growth but of individual development.

Work, even for children, can be an opportunity to learn and a cause and effect of self-determination, responsibility, aid and active participation in their own life and in the one of their family and community.

There are associations, NGOs and various local organisations supporting the NATs movements: adults provide their support as collaborators and facilitators, but the children and adolescents themselves are the ones who discuss and make decisions according to the objectives they want to reach.

Bologna NATs Association

Bologna NATs Association is a non-profit cultural association engaged since 1995 in allowing working children and adolescents to have a greater voice. Its aim is to support the activities of their movements and to spread the knowledge of their experience in Italy through various means.

TRAINING: Learning "backwards”

  • Training projects for primary school, middle school and high school based on the experience of the NATs Movement and the social participation of the children;
  • Exchanged experiences between those in the NATs Movements and Italian youth;
  • Training projects aimed at social workers and groups of people concerned with the matter;
  • Studies and research projects in co-operation with the partners of the movement and the movement themselves.

PUBLIC AWARENESS: The South calls upon the North

  • Articles;
  • Co-operation with newspapers and specialised magazines on labour and minors, the world, development co-operation;
  • Organisation of public meetings with representatives of the NATs and experts on child labour;
  • Photo exhibition and videos to favour public awareness;
  • Creation of a documentation centre on topics concerning child labour, children's rights and the experiences of the NATs Movements in the world.

CO-OPERATION: Support: reality and dream

  • Support for the projects of the NATs movements in different countries.
  • Support for the self-financing of the activities of the NATs movements through the distribution of craft works made within their projects.

The Nats Association ONLUS in Bologna is part of the national co-ordination ITALIANATs which gathers 19 Italian organisations including Associations, NGOs, Import Offices and Free Trade Shops.

The Italian network co-operates with the German association ProNATs.

Traduzione a cura di Tiziana

Bologna NATs Association:
Registered office: Via Duccio Di Boninsegna 4 – 40133 Bologna
Tel: +39-3384157935
E-mail: ,
ItaliaNATs Italian Network:
German Association ProNATs:

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